How To Legalise Your TEFL Certificate [2024]

Kirsten Colquhoun
January 29, 2024

Table of Contents

    Introduction
  • What is it?
  • Why it matters
  • Steps to legalise your certificate
  • What are the next steps
Join over 200,000 TEFL teachers making a difference around the world! Download TEFL Factbook Explore TEFL Courses
    Summary
  • Legalisation is the way of proving to institutes and foreign governments that your qualifications are the real deal.
  • Legalising your TEFL certificate shows your future employers that your certificate is a legitimate TEFL qualification.
  • There are a number of steps involved in legalising your TEFL certificate.

When an employer offers you a position teaching abroad, they might ask you to legalise your TEFL certification. Say what? Don’t panic! The TEFL Academy is on hand to run you through exactly what is legalising your TEFL certificate, what it means and how to go about it.

If you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else to make your life a whole lot easier, then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

What is meant by legalising a TEFL certificate?

Legalisation is the way of proving to institutes and foreign governments that your qualifications are the real deal. It might sound like an overwhelming experience, but the process itself is fairly straightforward although potentially time-consuming.

Why does legalising a TEFL certificate matter?

Legalising your TEFL certificate shows your future employers that your certificate is a legitimate TEFL qualification.

How to make sure your TEFL certificate is legalised

There are a number of steps involved in legalising your TEFL certificate. These steps are crucial when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs, no matter where those jobs might be.

Let’s look at exactly how you can legalise your TEFL certificate.

1. Check where to legalise your certification

The first step is to check where you can legalise your TEFL certification. 

Governments and local embassies

In most instances, documents need to be legalised in the country they were initially issued in. 

For example, The TEFL Academy is based and registered in the UK so if you do a TEFL course through us (and why wouldn’t you?) you need to legalise your TEFL certificate through the UK Government. 

If you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else (lets be honest it will certainly be easier), then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

Some local embassies around the world may offer a legalisation service. However, this is becoming increasingly rare.

If your TEFL course was done through another company in another country, you need to have your certificate legalised in that country.

2. Getting your documents certified

The next step is to apply to get your documents certified.

Notary public or solicitor approval

Getting your documents certified means having  a solicitor or notary public certify it is genuine. A quick Google search for ‘notary public + your local town’ should yield all the nearby options for you. You’ll then be advised on what documents are required to certify your course qualification.

3. Application to legalise your TEFL certification

Once your TEFL qualification has been certified, you’re ready to move forward on to the process of getting it legalised. 

Documents needed for an application

Before getting started, you may need the following: 

  • Credit/Debit card details
  • Access to a printer
  • Return address

You can then visit www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised and follow the simple steps on your screen. Once those have been completed, you will need to send your confirmed order page and proof of payment (currently £30 excluding postage or courier fees) and certified TEFL certificate to your Legislation Office. 

You can also email [email protected] and we can help you with the process.

4. Receiving your apostille certificate

It can take anywhere between 2 – 10 business days for the Legislation Office to process your documents. In other words, you might need to wait a couple of weeks to see your TEFL certificate again. 

Once it is returned to you, it should come with a stamped official certificate called an apostille. This is proof that your certified TEFL certification has gone through the full legal process. 

What is an apostille TEFL certificate?

An apostille is a stamped official certificate which is  accepted as a valid form of legal identification in any country or nation state that has signed up to Convention 12 of the Hague Conference.

If the country you are looking to teach English abroad in isn’t included in that, you will need to pass all of your legalised documents on to the local embassy or consulate. You may be required to do it in-person, but check to see if posting it is also an option.

What to do with your legalised TEFL certificate

With a legalised TEFL certificate, you are free to apply for whichever TEFL job tickles your fancy.

Note: You might need to legalise or certify your university degree and criminal background check, but this is not always necessary. This needs to be done in the country they were issued.

To certify your documents means copies of the original are signed and stamped as copies of a genuine document. In some countries, you can only have your documents notarised by a Notary Public. In other countries, a lawyer, bank, doctor, accountant or police officer can do this for you.

If this all sounds like a lot and you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else (and let’s be honest, it will certainly be easier), then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

READ MORE:

TEFL Accreditation Explained & Why It’s Important

Meet The Author

Kirsten Colquhoun

Kirsten Colquhoun is the Content Manager for The TEFL Academy. A graduate of Cambridge University and DELTA-qualified, she first started teaching kindergarten in Thailand in 2003. A South African, she has also taught in China, the UK, Spain, Qatar and South Africa, but these days she is a teacher trainer and freelance writer and editor.

Table of Contents

    Introduction
  • What is it?
  • Why it matters
  • Steps to legalise your certificate
  • What are the next steps
    Summary
  • Legalisation is the way of proving to institutes and foreign governments that your qualifications are the real deal.
  • Legalising your TEFL certificate shows your future employers that your certificate is a legitimate TEFL qualification.
  • There are a number of steps involved in legalising your TEFL certificate.

When an employer offers you a position teaching abroad, they might ask you to legalise your TEFL certification. Say what? Don’t panic! The TEFL Academy is on hand to run you through exactly what is legalising your TEFL certificate, what it means and how to go about it.

If you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else to make your life a whole lot easier, then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

What is meant by legalising a TEFL certificate?

Legalisation is the way of proving to institutes and foreign governments that your qualifications are the real deal. It might sound like an overwhelming experience, but the process itself is fairly straightforward although potentially time-consuming.

Why does legalising a TEFL certificate matter?

Legalising your TEFL certificate shows your future employers that your certificate is a legitimate TEFL qualification.

How to make sure your TEFL certificate is legalised

There are a number of steps involved in legalising your TEFL certificate. These steps are crucial when it comes to applying for TEFL jobs, no matter where those jobs might be.

Let’s look at exactly how you can legalise your TEFL certificate.

1. Check where to legalise your certification

The first step is to check where you can legalise your TEFL certification. 

Governments and local embassies

In most instances, documents need to be legalised in the country they were initially issued in. 

For example, The TEFL Academy is based and registered in the UK so if you do a TEFL course through us (and why wouldn’t you?) you need to legalise your TEFL certificate through the UK Government. 

If you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else (lets be honest it will certainly be easier), then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

Some local embassies around the world may offer a legalisation service. However, this is becoming increasingly rare.

If your TEFL course was done through another company in another country, you need to have your certificate legalised in that country.

2. Getting your documents certified

The next step is to apply to get your documents certified.

Notary public or solicitor approval

Getting your documents certified means having  a solicitor or notary public certify it is genuine. A quick Google search for ‘notary public + your local town’ should yield all the nearby options for you. You’ll then be advised on what documents are required to certify your course qualification.

3. Application to legalise your TEFL certification

Once your TEFL qualification has been certified, you’re ready to move forward on to the process of getting it legalised. 

Documents needed for an application

Before getting started, you may need the following: 

  • Credit/Debit card details
  • Access to a printer
  • Return address

You can then visit www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised and follow the simple steps on your screen. Once those have been completed, you will need to send your confirmed order page and proof of payment (currently £30 excluding postage or courier fees) and certified TEFL certificate to your Legislation Office. 

You can also email [email protected] and we can help you with the process.

4. Receiving your apostille certificate

It can take anywhere between 2 – 10 business days for the Legislation Office to process your documents. In other words, you might need to wait a couple of weeks to see your TEFL certificate again. 

Once it is returned to you, it should come with a stamped official certificate called an apostille. This is proof that your certified TEFL certification has gone through the full legal process. 

What is an apostille TEFL certificate?

An apostille is a stamped official certificate which is  accepted as a valid form of legal identification in any country or nation state that has signed up to Convention 12 of the Hague Conference.

If the country you are looking to teach English abroad in isn’t included in that, you will need to pass all of your legalised documents on to the local embassy or consulate. You may be required to do it in-person, but check to see if posting it is also an option.

What to do with your legalised TEFL certificate

With a legalised TEFL certificate, you are free to apply for whichever TEFL job tickles your fancy.

Note: You might need to legalise or certify your university degree and criminal background check, but this is not always necessary. This needs to be done in the country they were issued.

To certify your documents means copies of the original are signed and stamped as copies of a genuine document. In some countries, you can only have your documents notarised by a Notary Public. In other countries, a lawyer, bank, doctor, accountant or police officer can do this for you.

If this all sounds like a lot and you would like this entire process to be handled by someone else (and let’s be honest, it will certainly be easier), then we recommend you use an apostille service. We have negotiated discounted rates with service providers, so please email us to be referred at: [email protected].

READ MORE:

TEFL Accreditation Explained & Why It’s Important

Join over 200,000 TEFL teachers making a difference around the world! Download TEFL Factbook Explore TEFL Courses

Meet The Author

Kirsten Colquhoun

Kirsten Colquhoun is the Content Manager for The TEFL Academy. A graduate of Cambridge University and DELTA-qualified, she first started teaching kindergarten in Thailand in 2003. A South African, she has also taught in China, the UK, Spain, Qatar and South Africa, but these days she is a teacher trainer and freelance writer and editor.

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